Sunday, 23 January 2011

Nikon CLS tutorials

I may only have one Nikon, 2 canons and 1 Fuji camera (which these videos are me working with the fuji) but the Nikon Creative lighting system (CLS) is what makes me go for my Nikon every time I have a shoot that will require flash. I like using flash a lot and thus You will always see me with a Nikon and NIkon flashes.

But what is so special about the Nikon flashes that you cant get with studio strobes or Monolights?

This video is a strobist technique for capturing water droplets falling or splashes. THe images here are to give you an idea of how you can do it and what the images can look like. Dropping different things into the water would make more interesting images. This technique used NIkon cls system to communicate with the flashes from the camera.

I had the camera on manual mode and the flashes just on ttl mode, i made sure the background was black (my folder) and made sure that the flashes were not reflecting off the background.

more after the break

Video showing how good the Nikon creative lighting system (CLS) is in its sb800, sb900 and i think the sb600, and why you dont need to spend lots of money on infrared systems, radio devices, pocket wizards etc. (but only for an indoor type photo shoot..

The video is proving a point not a purpose.

Photos taken with the fujifilm s5pro but could easily have been the nikon d300 or d700

flashes used were the nikon sb800 and sb900.

Hope you find this helpful.

In this video I will try and explain what is soo special about the Nikon Creative lighting system CLS and how it can save a photographer a lot of time when setting up a photo shoot.

Although it is the NIkon system the Fuji S5 pro camera has the same technology but the menu would be slightly different. This is all possible with new models of cameras, nikon d80, d90, d300, d700 and if you programme your external flash on your d3 and d3x it can also work that way. (as you dont have a po p up flash on them)

flashes used are the sb800 and sb900

Hope this helps

Video explaining what sync speed is, why it is what it is and how to over come it and why you would want to over come it.

very funny part near the end.



Finally some Magic!


  1. I'm surprised you have never had people blinking with the pre-flash, happened to me a lot, specially with animals. Also even when set to -- or -3EV the pop-up flash can be intrusive, eg close-up with shiny objects. There is a workaround gizmo that fixes the problem very well, I always keep mine handy JIC. Well worth a tenner.

  2. Hello Dom
    Thanks for these useful tutorials. I have linked your video on Water Droplets to my blog post on High Speed Water Photography. Pelase check it out if you find some time.


  3. You are quite entertaining to watch and very informative. Lot of creative and technical ideas. I am a new owner of a Cannon. After watching your videos, i must say that i do have a tad bit of regret on not purchasing a Nikon.
    All in all, your lessons can be applied to any camera...for the most part. Many thanks!